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SRNL Recognition - September 2010 to Present

Dr. Robert SindelarDr. Robert Sindelar has begun a two month assignment in Japan as a U.S. Embassy Science Fellow. Dr. Sindelar will be hosted by the Japan Ministry of Environment as part of the Japan-U.S. cooperation framework for decontamination efforts in the Fukushima region. As an Embassy Science Fellow, he will provide technical expertise and suggestions to Japanese counterparts based on U.S. experience and collective SRS and SRNL expertise, and will interact with other scientists working in the field. He has previously participated in a National Laboratory expert team workshop with Japanese organizations to discuss high priority tasks for cleanup of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant, delivering presentations on relevant experience in water decontamination, corrosion control and leak repair technologies. Dr. Sindelar has 28 years of research and development experience in nuclear science. He is internationally recognized for his work in areas such as spent nuclear fuel management, water decontamination, aging effects and aging management of structures, and materials in nuclear systems. He has a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and both a M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The Embassy Science Fellows program offers U.S. Embassies an opportunity to host a working scientist for a one to three month stay. Begun in 2001 as a State Department – National Science Foundation partnership, the program places U.S. scientists at posts to provide expertise, advice and assistance with science and technology-related issues. SRNL is DOE’s applied research and development national laboratory at SRS. SRNL puts science to work to support DOE and the nation in the areas of environmental stewardship, national security, and clean energy. SRNL is operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell.

Dr. Poh-Sang LamDr. Poh-Sang Lam, a senior fellow engineer at Savannah River National Laboratory, was elected as a Fellow of ASME. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines. The grade of Fellow recognizes outstanding engineering achievement; the distinction has been granted to fewer than 3 percent of ASME's 111,000 members. Dr. Lam was recognized both for his achievements in research and development and for his leadership in the engineering profession. One of his areas of expertise is fracture mechanics (the field that specializes in understanding what makes a material crack) wherein he developed fracture methodologies to ensure the structural integrity of DOE defense nuclear reactors and high level nuclear waste tanks. He is currently working on projects that benefit the energy sector, electronics industry, groundwater management, and homeland security.

Dr. John MarraDr. John Marra of SRNL was selected to receive the American Ceramic Society/Nuclear & Environmental Technology Division's D.T. Rankin award for 2011. This award is in memory of Tom Rankin of SRNL, a longtime member of the Division who served as Chair and Trustee for a number of years. The award is presented yearly to a member of the division who demonstrated exemplary service and leadership to the division.




Bond CallowayBond Calloway, Alternative Energy Research Manager with SRNL, was elected as a Fellow of AIChE. Founded in 1908, as the American Institute of Chemical Engineering, AIChE is the world's leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with over 40,000 members from over 90 countries. The grade of Fellow recognizes outstanding contributions made to the engineering profession and significant accomplishments in chemical engineering.



Dr. Mary K. HarrisDr. Mary K. Harris of SRNL received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) Meritorious Contributions Award. The award was given in recognition of her unyielding efforts to improve the overall status of DEG by increasing membership, web page updates, and promoting the expansion of the Environmental Geosciences Journal. Dr. Harris is the past-president of AAPG DEG Division.



Dr. Daniel McCabeSRNL's Dr. Daniel McCabe was a member of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Response Team, which received the Secretary's Achievement Award, the highest non-monetary recognition for groups or teams of DOE employees and contractors. The team was honored for "exceptional contributions to the Department of Energy's response to the devastating 9.0 Richter scale earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011…. The response teams' extraordinary efforts under immense pressure provided real time information to those at the highest levels of the U.S. Government who were making decisions that would impact the health and safety of U.S. citizens in Japan, as well as to the Government of Japan." As a member of the Japan Response Team, Dr. McCabe provided input on options for storage, treatment, and disposal of contaminated water in the reactor and surrounding facilities. With over twenty years of remediation experience, Dr. McCabe was able to provide information regarding the potential applicability of several technologies to mitigate safety concerns. In addition to SRNL, team members included personnel from Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, and RSL.

Dr. Kyle BrinkmanDr. Kyle Brinkman has been selected to receive the 2011 Young Leader Professional Development Award by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), the international technical society for materials scientists and engineers. TMS initiated the Young Leaders Professional Award in 1996 to enhance the professional development of dynamic young professionals in the Society. Ten outstanding young professionals, two from each of TMS' five technical divisions, are selected for this award; Dr. Brinkman was chosen as winner from the Electronic, Magnetic & Photonic Materials Division. In addition to the recognition as an award recipient, his selection for the award carries responsibilities including serving on technical committees to organize TMS symposia. Dr. Brinkman has been active in developing advanced materials for energy applications, including leadership roles in developing materials for next generation nuclear energy, as well as batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and other Department of Energy initiatives.

Dr. Michael PoirerDr. Michael Poirier was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The rank of Fellow, the highest grade in membership in AIChE, recognizes and honors members who have made meaningful contributions to the chemical engineering profession. Fellows make up fewer than 5 percent of the membership of AIChE. Dr. Poirier is noted for his work developing techniques for the treatment of radioactive waste, including recent work on a process to separate highly radioactive solids from large volumes of liquid waste, enabling more efficient treatment and disposal of both. In addition to Dr. Poirier's work in filtration, fluid mixing, and slurry processing, his election as Fellow also recognized his contributions to the AIChE through the organization's Career and Education Operating Council, Professional Development Committee, the Education Services Committee, and others.

Dr. Robert SindelarThe Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness awarded the 2010 Fred C. Davidson Distinguished Scientist Award to Dr. Robert L. Sindelar, a Senior Advisory Scientist in Materials Science and Technology. His contributions have been made in the following key nuclear technologies: structural integrity and life management/extension in systems for nuclear materials production; safe interim management of spent fuel; disposal waste forms for nuclear fuel; and a new initiative of strong interest on a national level – very long-term storage of commercial nuclear fuel, supporting tasks for the U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission in this area. In addition, he is a highly regarded and frequent consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Department of Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Section in the spent fuel management area. He has developed bases for handling and storage of "degraded" research reactor spent fuel which has been key to the success of the Foreign Research Reactor Fuel Return program.

Dr. Thad AdamsDr. Thad Adams was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) for his research on the management of commercial nuclear fuel that could eventually lead to new approaches to clean nuclear energy. At the Winter 2010 American Nuclear Society meeting in Las Vegas, Dr. Adams was recognized with a Fuel Cycle Research and Development Program Award for Excellence in Research. Dr. Adams is leading a team at SRNL focused on the development of a transformational "dry separations recycle" technology for commercial used nuclear fuel (UNF). This novel dry recycle process could allow for increased utilization of the uranium resources in the commercial UNF while significantly reducing the waste volume in comparison to conventional aqueous recycle technologies.


Dr. Carol JantzenDr. Carol Jantzen was selected as the 2010 recipient of the Don Orth Award of Merit. Established in 1992, this award is presented by SRNL to an individual who by character, technical performance and leadership best exemplifies Donald Orth's character and contributions. It is the highest distinction at the Savannah River Site to recognize the ideals of technical excellence and leadership. Dr. Jantzen is recognized within the SRNL, SRS, DOE, and internationally for her expertise in high level waste vitrification, the transformation of waste into a stable glass form for disposal. In particular, she is recognized for her contributions to the development of the Savannah River Site's Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF). Dr. Jantzen developed the statistical process control models that have safely and reliably controlled the DWPF, the world's largest and the U.S.'s first high level waste vitrification facility, since its inception. She is highly regarded by her peers in the professional societies, including the American Ceramic Society (of which she was the first woman president), ASTM standards development organization, American Nuclear Society, and the Materials Research Society. She is also a member of U.S. Nuclear Technical Advisory Group of the International Standards Organization where she has served on the teams that write standards for the national nuclear industry and the high level waste geologic repository. She is credited with over 250 publications and holds 11 patents for her innovations.

Dr. Joette SonnenbergDr. Joette G. Sonnenberg was named as incoming president for the American Society of Engineering Management, an international organization whose mission is to promote the development and practice of the engineering management profession. Dr. Sonnenberg has been a long standing member of ASEM serving as treasurer for the local CSRA-ASEM chapter, as well as secretary, southeastern regional director, and executive board member for the national organization. She was awarded the society's Meritorious Award in 2008 and was given the distinction as a Fellow in 2009.



Dr. Adrian Mendez-TorresDr. Adrian Mendez-Torres graduated from the Carolinas’ Nuclear Cluster's Leadership Energy Carolinas (LEC) class of 2010. LEC is a personal and professional development forum for future leaders of the nuclear industry in the Carolinas. Graduates are expected to use their skills and knowledge to further develop the nuclear industry in the Carolinas. Class members range across a spectrum of disciplines – operations, finance, legal, human resources, training, policy and research. Dr. Mendez-Torres is a senior research engineer who initially joined SRNL as a DOE- National Nuclear Security Administration NGSI (Next Generation Safeguards Initiative) Fellow in 2009 and became a member of the permanent research staff in 2010. A nuclear fuel cycle expert by training, his research is focused on the development of advanced sensor materials for safeguards application in the back-end of the fuel cycle.

George WicksDr. George Wicks is the 2010 winner of the Arthur Frederick Greaves-Walker Award from the American Ceramic Society's (ACerS) National Institute of Ceramic Engineers. The award is presented to an individual who has rendered outstanding service to the ceramic engineering profession and who, by life and career, has exemplified the aims, ideals and purpose of NICE. Dr. Wicks is recognized for many years of service in the scientific advancement of ceramics and glass technology, including the conversion of high-level radioactive waste to a glass form. He designed and co-organized the largest international field testing program in the world on simulated high-level waste glasses and has been asked to serve on numerous advisory panels and committees both in the U.S. and in other countries, on many different aspects of the high-level waste vitrification program and associated efforts. In recent years, Dr. Wicks has led an interdisciplinary team in developing a new product called Porous Wall Hollow Glass Microspheres, tiny "microballoons" about 1/3 the diameter of a human hair, with unique capabilities for potential use in medicine, hydrogen storage and other uses.

George RawlsGeorge Rawls was named as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Meeting in February, 2011. Rawls was recognized for his technical expertise in the field of structural mechanics and the application of codes and standards to pressure vessels and piping systems. He was also recognized for his contribution to codes and standards in the U.S. DOE nuclear complex and his commitment to developing innovative material application solutions for U.S. DOE national missions.



James MarraJames Marra, Ph.D., an advisory engineer in SRNL’s Materials Science and Technology Directorate at Savannah River National Laboratory, was elected by ASM International as a 2010 Fellow of the Society. ASM International, a technical professional society of materials scientists and engineers, established the award in 1969 to honor members for their distinguished contributions to the materials science and engineering field.

According to his award citation, Dr. Marra was elected “for outstanding achievements in developing waste forms and related processes to immobilize nuclear waste for permanent disposal and for significant contributions in the study of materials degradation in radioactive environments.” Dr. Marra, a recognized international expert on development and performance of glass wasteforms, has been granted five patents on his work with glass composition development, specifically in the development of glasses with improved melting properties. Dr. Marra is also noted as a mentor for interns, co-op students, and young professionals, and is active in educating elementary, middle, and high school students in science, especially the materials field.

He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and serves on the American Ceramic Society Board of Directors. Also, he chairs the International Commission on Glass Technical Committee on Nuclear and Hazardous Waste Vitrification.


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Last updated: April 2, 2013

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